‘Body was found in bath’ - Newport inquest hears

South Wales Argus: Jessica Watkins (5988444) Jessica Watkins (5988444)

A WOMAN whose death is at the centre of a murder investigation was found in the bath of a Newport house, an inquest opening was told yesterday.

A post mortem examination concluded that the cause of Jessica Watkins’ death was from blood loss from wounds or pressure to the neck, the hearing in Newport was told.

Gwent coroner David Bowen officially opened and adjourned the inquest into the death of the 21-year-old from Caerleon.

Yesterday, the coroner’s officer, David Arnold, said that Gwent Police were called to a house in Bryn Bevan, Newport, on Monday, May 5.

On arrival officers found the body of Miss Watkins in a bath and she was pronounced dead by paramedics at the scene.

Mr Bowen was satisfied with the identification of Miss Watkins, who had been identified by a relative, and adjourned the inquest until the conclusion of court proceedings. Her body will now be released to her family.

On May 9, Kristofer Mitchell, 28, of Bryn Bevan, Newport, was remanded in custody after appearing before Newport Crown Court. He is charged with murdering Miss Watkins between May 3 and May 6.

The family of Miss Watkins have paid tribute to her saying she was “very loved by us and will be greatly missed. She will always be loved by us all”.

On May 6, members of Newport City Gaming, where Miss Watkins was a regular visitor, met at the Atlantica bar in Newport to hold a minute’s silence for their friend.

Friend Bethan Williams, 18, said she met her as a student at Coleg Gwent’s Nash campus where Miss Watkins was studying ICT.

She described her as a “bubbly, happy girl” who liked to party.

“She was really funny, the things she would come out with, she had me in stitches. When I found out what had happened, I couldn’t breathe – I just collapsed. She was too young,” she said.

Managing director of Newport City Games, Jason Reilly, said: “We do a lot of events and she started turning up to them. She wasn’t a big gamer but she was a party person.”

Mr Reilly said she was also a very generous person.

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